#20 Texas Softball 2015 Preview

Texas Longhorns

Overall Rank: #20
Conference Rank: #3 Big 12
#20 Texas Softball 2015 Preview
Texas Team Page


Texas battled its way through an up and down 2014 season and found a way to get into the NCAA Tournament once again. The Longhorns battled through the loser’s bracket and got through to the Lafayette Regional Championship but fell to the Rajun Cajuns 10-1. Texas returns a high percentage of its production this season as seven position players who started at least 31 games last season return. And now they will be looking to take a step forward and get to the Super Regionals and beyond in 2015.

2014: 35-23, 12-6
2014 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Connie Clark

Field Players:
Outfielder Lindsey Stephens returns and will be looking to build upon a fantastic 2014 season. Stephens was dominant in all phases offensively in 2014 for the Longhorns. She hit .371 with 16 homeruns and drove in 66 and had a pretty good balance between walks and strikeouts as well. Stephanie Ceo and Gabby Smith are also going to be important components of the Texas offensive attack. Both can hit for a very high average which should create plenty of run scoring opportunities for the Longhorns all season long. Freshman Infielder/Outfielder Alyssa Angel is going to be one to watch as Angel is one of the top all-around incoming freshman prospects in the country with a very dynamic mix of power and speed that will ignite the Texas lineup this season.

The Longhorns should only get better in the circle in 2015 as they return Tiarra Davis and Gabby Smith once again this season. Davis had an excellent freshman season, going 19-14 with a 2.38 earned run average along with 24 complete games. One key point of emphasis for Davis in 2015 will be to limit the amount of walks and homeruns. She walked 100 in 200 innings and gave up 14 homeruns. If Davis can get those numbers closer to 60-65 walks and about ten homeruns, then Texas will make a big jump forward. Smith was 14-4 with a 2.80 earned run average in 16 starts last season and she also is going to have to lower the amount of walks in relation to her innings pitched after walking 61 in 112 innings.

Who to Watch:
It will be interesting to see if incoming freshmen pitchers Kristen Clark and Erica Wright can breakthrough and earn starts in the circle for the Longhorns. With the offensive heavy nature of the Big 12 on an annual basis, it never hurts to have more than two pitchers that you can rely upon consistently to survive the grind that is the Big 12 conference.

Final Projection:
Texas will without question be very battle tested with the schedule they have in front of them for the 2015 season. The five game gauntlet of UCSB, Oregon, Northwestern, Stanford and Arizona State at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Arizona will show where the Longhorns stand right away nationally. The slate at the Mary Nutter Classic two weeks later will be equally challenging as Texas will battle the likes of Georgia, UCLA, Fresno State, Missouri and Notre Dame. In addition, the non-conference slate for the Longhorns will have a trip to Fayetteville, Arkansas to play a series against Arkansas and there will be tests in mid-week games against a very good Houston team as well. Oklahoma and Baylor both make visits to Austin as well during course of the Big 12 schedule, which should help Texas greatly in their quest to try and win the Big 12 title. If the Longhorns can be stronger in the circle and not walk as many batters and keep the ball in the ballpark, they have a great shot to contend for the Big 12 title and make the NCAA Tournament.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament

Returning Leaders:
At Bats: Lindsey Stephens, OF, 178
Hits: Lindsey Stephens, OF, 47
Home Runs: Lindsey Stephens, OF, 16
RBIs: Lindsey Stephens, OF, 66
Runs: Lindsey Stephens, OF, 47
Stolen Bases: Stephanie Wong, IF/OF, 12

Wins: Tiarra Davis, P, 19
Innings Pitched: Tiarra Davis, P, 200
Strikeouts: Tiarra Davis, P, 176
Complete Games: Tiarra Davis, P, 24


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